7 October 2016

Sapienza – University of Rome (Italy)

Keynote speaker:

Rebecca Beasley (University of Oxford)

Conference website:

Recent years have seen a proliferation of innovative studies in international literary and cultural transactions. In the thriving area of cosmopolitan studies, the Anglo-Russian literary and cultural connections naturally loom large. Nevertheless they invite further scrutiny, particularly in relation to the issues of reception, adaptation, assimilation, and contamination. In 1919, Virginia Woolf famously declared that “the most inconclusive remarks upon modern English fiction can hardly avoid some mention of the Russian influence,” thus grafting, as it were, Russian aesthetics on modernist practices. Needless to add the diverse and combined impact of the Russian Ballets, Tolstoyan ideology, Constance Garnett’s translations, Russian drama and Soviet cinema on the English literary and cultural traditions. British modernists played a pivotal role in the dissemination of Russian literature and culture, showing a rare insight into the unprecedented opportunities Anglo-Russian cross-cultural dialogue offered to rejuvenate the British literary forms and aesthetic idioms. In the steps of the “Russia in Britain” conference, organised by Rebecca Beasley and Philip R. Bullock in 2009, this one-day international conference engages with some of the key questions, concerns and issues stemming out of the complex landscape of Anglo-Russian cross-cultural encounters from the 1880s to the 1940s. It aims at casting light on the most recent developments in Anglo-Russian studies in their multiple perspectives – historical, cultural, linguistic and literary.

Contributions may include, but are not limited to:

British reception of Russian and Soviet literature, drama, music, art and film
Cosmopolitanism and transnationalism
Hybridization among English and Russian literary traditions, genres and styles
The role of translation in the promotion of Anglo-Russian cultural and literary rapprochement
Travelogues and travel writing
The British and the Russian “intelligentsia”
Émigré and refugee culture
British/Russian periodical culture and the émigré press
English/Russian politics and ideologies
Tolstoyan, Anglo-Russian and Anglo-Soviet communities
Russophile publishing houses
Children’s literature and folklore
Journalism and travel writing in between Russia and Britain
Theoretical linguistic and sociolinguistic
Theories of reception, translation and comparative literary studies
Please submit a title, 300-word abstract, a short author bio and a list of relevant publications, if applicable, by 20 May 2016 to Papers should be 20-25 minutes’ long. Notification of acceptance by June 15th. Contributions from doctoral students and early-career researchers are encouraged.